Career self-confidence is vital to your success. After all,
if you don’t believe in yourself, how will anyone else have any faith in your
When you have self-confidence, you’ll find that advancing in
the workplace goes much more smoothly and naturally. People are attracted to
self-possession and self-esteem. That’s why we’re constantly told to stand
tall, speak up, lean in, and look confident. Those qualities are invaluable no
matter your career.
For most of us, it happens naturally. Our careers are huge
self-confidence boosters. Every achievement can serve to improve your
self-esteem from getting called out by a leader to getting a promotion or even
accomplishing a difficult task. It’s all these little things together that make
for great career satisfaction, which turns into self-confidence in your career.
Unfortunately, 85% of the world’s population is affected by low self-esteem, according to The Self Esteem Book by Joe Rubino. So, what happens when you need to boost self-confidence in your career to become your best professional self?
How to Boost Self-Confidence
Whether your career is the one responsible for intimidating
you and taking away your self-confidence or it’s something you’ve always
struggled with, a lack of self-esteem and confidence can be detrimental. Confidence
can take years of experience and practice to build, and yet just a few days to
Self-confidence in your career is as simple as knowing what you do well and what your value is. So, the next time you struggle with trying to boost your career self-confidence, try these five steps to rewire your brain with focus and intention.
Also read: How To Build Confidence at Work: 6 Practical Tactics | Your Best Professional Self Series
Fake it till you make it
If you’ve heard it once,
you’ve heard it a thousand times, “Fake it until you make it.” It’s a timeless
saying because it works. Most career professionals feel like they’re not doing
enough or they don’t know enough. It’s easy to look at work undone and feel
inadequate or to compare yourself to someone else and think they’re better, but
you don’t need that added pressure.
Instead, listen to Amy Cuddy’s inspiring TED talk and learn to boost self-confidence by faking it until
you make it. Walk around like you’re a powerful CEO. Sit and stand with a
picture of confidence—shoulders back head held high—even if you don’t feel it.
Looking and acting confident, even when you feel the exact opposite, can have
amazing effects. It can physically change the levels of testosterone and
cortisol in the brain to make you feel better.
The idea is delusional optimism, and it works.
Focus on progress instead of perfection
You’ll never be perfect.
You’ll never reach the absolute pinnacle where no change is needed. Instead,
career self-confidence comes from the idea of focusing on your progress instead
Research has shown that the more roles you fill, the more sources of career self-confidence you have. So, don’t beat yourself up when you have to change jobs or you fail at a project. Every step along your career path will make you stronger, more self-aware, and will boost self-confidence.
The truth of the matter is
that we all make mistakes, but those mistakes are often the best lessons we
need to learn. They teach you about yourself and give you a chance to grow.
When you face challenges and you make errors, don’t let them get you down.
Instead, focus on how you won’t make the same mistake again and how you took a
Look to your career mentors
When you need a career
self-confidence boost, look to your favorite career icons. Look to those
inspiring men and women who have made incredible headway and accomplished
- Whitney Wolfe Herd quit Tinder after suing for sexual harassment. Then, a little while later, she went on to build Bumble, a billion-dollar viral-dating sensation.
- Elon Musk is considered the “architect of tomorrow.” Not only is he changing the game in the automobile industry with Tesla, but he’s also revolutionized rocketry with SpaceX.
- Anne Wojcicki started her career in health care investments where she quickly became disillusioned. The result was the creation of 23andMe, a personal genomics company that’s exploding in popularity.
- Jeff Bezos began Amazon in 1995 as an online bookstore. Its initial success was meteoric, reaching $20,000 in sales a week within two months and going public two years later. Now, he’s known as the $100 billion man.
It’s these career icons and
mentors who will motivate you in tough times and help instill confidence in
everything you do. The key thing to remember is that all of these individuals
were just like you at one point. We all start somewhere, and the only place to
go is up if you work at it.
When you’re in a self-doubting mode, use these career mentors as fallbacks to keep you believing in yourself and to boost self-confidence.
Write down your goals
What do you want out of your
career? We all have goals. Knowing those goals and writing them down will then help you figure out what you need to do to
These goals will end up being
inspiration and motivation for every day of your work life. The key is to make
them S.M.A.R.T.—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. For
instance, a good goal is “increase sales by 25 percent next quarter” instead of
something like “make more money.”
When you write down your
goals, you give yourself a focus and a sense of dedication. Then, every
milestone you hit will give you an instant career self-confidence boost. Your
goals will also help you keep going in the right direction when things go wrong,
so you’re not tempted to give up or give in.
Spend time on your passions
If you want to boost self-confidence in your career,
sometimes you just need to take a step back and focus on pursuing your
passions. Even if it’s just for fifteen minutes a day, there are many benefits
to doing things you feel passionate about.
The reason why is that you’re typically self-confident in
things you love. You like them because you’re good at them. So, spending time
doing things that give you confidence will bleed over into the rest of your
life. You can then take those positive thoughts and attitude and use them in
your day-to-day job.
And, truthfully, the more hobbies and interests you have
outside the workplace the better. They help expand your mind, reduce stress,
and help you approach work with a renewed sense of vigor. When you’re more
effective at your job, that’s a career self-confidence boost right there.
These exercises to boost self-confidence in your career can help you every single day, particularly when you’re struggling with a bad week or month. Just remember that self-confidence is a skill you have to work at regularly, so never stop.